Over 5,000 taxis will be available through the Careem app from August
21 July 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
The new service "hala" will be launched on Careem's ride-hailing app
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Careem announced the joint venture which will involve around half of Dubai's estimated 10,000 taxi fleet. Taxis will be available for booking through Careem starting August 29.
A collaboration of Careem and RTA technology, "hala" is expected to provide a faster and smoother taxi service. The move intends to reduce the number of private-owned cars offering e-hailing services off the roads, in order to cut down on traffic congestion.
From the end of August/beginning of September, customers can download the Careem app and tap on the "hala" icon to book a regular Dubai cab. Passengers will still be able to pay for their taxi rides through the app by card, Careem credits, or cash in person. As part of the new service, people will also be able to set taxi routes prior to the booking and rate the drivers.
The launch was followed after "hala" underwent a trial run in May for 2,000 taxi vehicles, with the service receiving an overall passenger rating of 4 out of 5 stars. An added benefit of pre-planning the route through the Careem app was that it cut the estimated time of arrival (ETA) down by more than 50%. Taxi rides booked through the Careem app had an average of 4.5 minutes compared to an average of 12-14 minutes when hailed on the streets.
His Excellency Matar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, said that the trial period witnessed excellent customer and drivers’ satisfaction.
Careem was bought in March 2019 by rival company Uber for AED 11.39 billion, which worried many customers who feared that the prices could increase. Passengers emphasized that they wanted to see more competition, not less.
Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder and CEO of Careem said, “It [...] means less down time for the Captains (drivers) who can optimize their time on the road through customer proximity matching and real time alerts of geographical areas experiencing high demand."